NASHVILLE, Tenn. – On Wednesday night, Dan Duquette promised that the Orioles would be active in the Rule 5 Draft. He followed through on Thursday morning.
The Orioles selected left-handed pitcher T.J. McFarland from the Cleveland Indians. The 23-year-old was a fourth-round selection in 2007 and was 16-8 with a 4.07 ERA with Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus in 2007.
“He has a knack for winning games,” Duquette said. “He’s made steady progress in each year of his development.”
McFarland has a 48-31 record with a 3.83 ERA in five seasons with Cleveland’s organization.
“It’s very rare to find a young pitcher with that type of winning record,” Duquette said.
Duquette said McFarland has a good sinker and change-up and is adept at keeping the ball down.
“We had targeted a couple of left-handed pitchers in the draft. We wanted to get another left-handed pitcher into our system,” Duquette said.
“This kid has the experience and the stuff and the track record to be a major league pitcher.”
McFarland, who was purchased for $50,000, must stay with the Orioles the entire season or be offered back to the Indians. Last year, the Orioles selected Ryan Flaherty in the Rule 5 draft, and he stayed with the team through the playoffs. With Nate McLouth's signing and adding McFarland, the Orioles' 40-man roster is full.
No Orioles were selected by other teams in the major league portion of the Rule 5.
The Orioles picked up right-handed pitcher Tom Boleska from the Minnesota Twins in the Triple-A draft. Boleska was a 35th round pick by Pittsburgh, who reached Double-A. Last year, Boleska was 2-1 with a 1.76 ERA for an independent league team in Fargo-Moorhead.
Just before picking Boleska, the Orioles lost 28-year-old outfielder Robbie Widlansky to the Los Angeles Angels. Widlansky batted .316 with eight home runs and 83 RBIs for Bowie last season.